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Makenzie Wethington broke her pelvis, spine, shoulder, several ribs and a tooth in the fall

Paragliding: Thermal riders risk all for the thrill of flight

Paragliding has become more competitive, but pilots are putting their lives on the line in search for victory.

Adventure Travel: Celestial bodies

It sounds pretty simple: you strap yourself in, pull the starter cord and zoom skywards. But that's not all there is to flying a microlight, as Eric Kendall finds out

Adventure travel: The Icarus syndrome, or how to join the bird club

Run for your life, then jump off a mountain.

Skydiver feared drowned

A British skydiver feared drowned in Thailand after a freak wind blew him out to sea is a veteran with more than 700 jumps behind him, his parachute club said last night.

The Princess Diana Memorial Balloon, and other good uses for a lot of hot air

The skies are becoming just as crowded with round-the-world balloonists as Mount Everest is with climbing expeditions. So for those who can't tell one shiny balloon attempt from another, here is a complete run-down of all those expeditions at present hoping to achieve the first non-stop hot air balloon trip round the world.

Outdoor: View to a thrill

By the time you've realised just how minimally the plane is constructed, it's too late: you're trapped, about to find out what it feels like to be fired into the sky. Eric Kendall goes gliding.

Freefall skydiver tells of miracle escape

A British parachutist described yesterday how he survived after his chute became entangled with another skydiver 2,000ft above ground.

Wayward balloon set for another uplifting experience

Richard Branson's flyaway balloon canopy (above) was yesterday under guard in Algeria - and tied to a tree in case it tried to escape again, writes Charles Arthur. Last night Mr Branson's co-pilot, Per Lindstrand, was preparing to go there and take it back by aircraft to the airbase outside Marrakesh, Morocco, where it escaped its moorings after a gust broke one of the securing ropes on Tuesday. The team hope to launch a fresh attempt on the non-stop ballooning record - and particularly to circumnavigate the world - at the weekend. `Hopefully we will be ready by Sunday if the weather conditions are good and the balloon is not too damaged,' Mr Branson said. Four other teams are aiming for the record.

Three skydivers die in polar jump

Three parachutists died yesterday when a jump over the South Pole went tragically wrong. Investigators are trying to establish how the experienced skydivers apparently failed to deploy their chutes in time. One theory is that they may have suffered a "white out" because of the expanse of snow below them and not realised how near they were to the ground.

Books: Hitting the G-spot

Marina Benjamin takes a rollercoaster ride without brakes; Gravity by Joseph Lanza Quartet, pounds 10

X-treme: High as a kite

Skydiving is no longer the preserve of the pros. New equipment now allows first- timers to head for the skies within hours of starting out. And rooted metropolitans can even do it within the confines of the M25

Branson to stage new balloon bid

Virgin boss Richard Branson said yesterday that he is planning to make another attempt to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon.

Elderly woman dies in hot-air balloon tragedy

An elderly woman was killed and 12 people were injured yesterday when a hot air balloon crashed into power lines and its passenger basket plunged 30ft to the ground before burst ing into flames.

The man who fell to earth and lived to tell the tale

A Briton had a "miracle" escape when he survived a terrifying 5,000ft plunge to the ground after his parachute failed to open during a free fall jump.

Look before you leap

You should think about insurance for dangerous pursuits, writes Edmund Tirbutt
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003